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Orioles Weekly Wrap: July 28th - August 3rd

Nelson Cruz continued his slide but Manny Machado played the hero again, along with Nick Markakis and Tommy Hunter.

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap's new home on Mondays!


The team went 4-2 last week against Los Angeles and Seattle, squeaking out a couple of one-run wins that were the hallmark of the 2012 season. They scored fewer runs than they did out west: just 17. The pitching was a bit shakier as they allowed 17 runs.


The Orioles remain in first place at 62-48. They're now 3.5 games ahead of Toronto, who have lost three in a row. The Orioles have improved their predicted finish to 90-72.

Best Hitter / Worst Hitter

Nick Markakis rose above the pack this week with a 167 wRC+ (.308/.379/.577 with two home runs). He could crack 2 fWAR for the first time since 2010. That kind of performance could be enough to lead the team to pick up his option for 2015. Nelson Cruz, however, continued to slump. His -58 wRC+ last week (.048/.091/.095 with no home runs) was the second-worst in all of baseball.

Best Start / Worst Start

Wei-Yin Chen edged Chris Tillman for the best start this past week. Pitching against Seattle on August 1st, Chen struck out eight and walked one in 7.1 innings. He gave up five hits but generally kept the ball on the ground (42% GB%). That's not to take away from Tillman, who also had a great start. But this week's worst start goes to Miguel Gonzalez. He'd been pitching well of late but he struggled a bit on Saturday. In five innings he struck out just one batter, although he only walked. What hurt him was the two dingers that led to four earned runs.

Clutch PA of the Week

How 'bout that Manny Machado? He came through in the clutch for the second week in a row. On Tuesday, the Orioles were facing the Angels at home. The game was tied at 6 heading into the bottom of the 12th, thanks to some good work by both bullpens. Ryan Webb had just worked out of a second-and-third-with-two-outs jam. Machado stepped in against Cory Rasmus to lead off the inning and promptly lashed a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left-center, giving the Orioles a walkoff victory.

Clutch Relief Appearance of the Week

The Orioles didn't win on July 31st, but they were tied 0-0 for 12.5 innings. In the top of the 10th, Tommy Hunter did his job well. He struck out David Freese and got Chris Iannetta to ground out. He gave up a single to Kole Calhoun but struck out Mike Trout. In the 11th, he retired Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Erick Aybar 1-2-3. Ryan Webb eventually gave up the game-winning run to the Angels, but Hunter kept the Orioles in it.

Upcoming Week

The Orioles have a makeup game against the Nationals today, fly to Toronto for a short three-game road trip, then return home to host the Cardinals.

Your Moment of Zen